Collingwood have listed former Melbourne star defender and new development coach Neville Jetta as one of the club’s top-ups under the AFL’s COVID-19 contingency plan.
Jetta is one of a number of well-known ex-AFL names who have been placed on standby by clubs. Essendon have Shaun McKernan – the ex-Bomber who was on St Kilda’s list – on their list of 20 top-ups, while distinguished ex-Bomber David Zaharakis, a best and fairest at Essendon, is a top-up for 2021 premiers Melbourne.
Neville Jetta is now a potential top-up player for the Pies.Credit:Paul Rovere
Jetta, 32, who unluckily missed out on Melbourne’s 2021 premiership, has joined the Magpies as a development coach and to play in their VFL team. He fell out of the powerful Demons side last year as the club brought in younger players.
Jetta is not the only club staffer who has been named as a standby supplementary list player, with the Demons also naming player development staffer and ex-Richmond and Fremantle defender Reece Conca as a top-up.
Shane Mumford, who works as ruck coach and also in an off-field role with the Giants, has been placed on the Greater Western Sydney top list, having retired last year due to the toll on his body. The Giants have only three specialist ruckmen on their list.
The Brisbane Lions have placed ex-Geelong and Port Adelaide big man Wylie Buzza on their list of top-ups, along with seasoned Coburg recruit Peter McEvoy, brother of Hawthorn skipper Ben.
Jack Lonie, the former St Kilda forward, is another on the Casey VFL list (Melbourne’s VFL affiliate) who is a top-up for the Demons. Ex-Hawk Callum Moore, too, is a Casey player who is available to the Demons.
Clubs are allowed 20 top-up players on standby, with the AFL allowing them to use the supplementary recruit if they have only 25 players left available on their list – a situation that West Coast have nearly reached prior to their round one game against Gold Coast on Sunday.
The Eagles are down to about 26 available players
, having a host of injuries and gun midfielder Tim Kelly unavailable due to COVID-19 protocols and Liam Ryan also potentially missing for that reason.
The full lists of top-ups will be released by the AFL on Thursday.
While clubs have been hopeful that they will not need to activate the top-ups, the AFL is preparing for the worst, having seen the AFLW hit hard by COVID-19 over summer. Several games were postponed, including the Brisbane Lions v Collingwood qualifying final that has been postponed at the Magpies’ request due to issues with COVID-19.
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